- UFC 153
White: Anderson is like Mike Tyson & Michael Jordan
Dana White likened Anderson Silva to Mike Tyson and Michael Jordan following his latest win at UFC 153, and predicted that the Brazilian's own desire to astonish people will lead him into a super-fight with Jon Jones.
Silva toyed with, and then knocked out, Stephan Bonnar in Rio, after which talk turned towards super-fights. The middleweight champion said he fancied fighting 170lb king Georges St-Pierre, while UFC president White guaranteed he could make Silva take on 205lb ruler Jones.
There is little doubting that Jones would be the sterner test for Silva - who has won all 16 of his UFC bouts, but the 37-year-old insists he does not want to fight Jones out of respect to his team-mates, some of whom are targeting their own run at light-heavyweight.
However, White knows Silva has an ego to massage, and he predicts that determination to show off his abundant skill-set will lead to Jones.
"He's playing games with me," White said. "That's what he is doing. I know how he works and I know what he thinks. Andy always has this thing of being humble… but I know how he is. He wants to show everybody by the time he leaves.
"I think the way to do that… if you look at my list he is No. 1 [pound-for-pound], GSP is No. 2 and Bones is No. 3."
Silva certainly needs something to challenge him, after he mocked Bonnar by standing with his back against the cage, dropping his hands and playing matador to the American's attempts to hit him. White admits he has never seen another genius like him in the UFC.
"We saw something that you might not f***ing ever see again as long as you live," White said.
"What that guy does - like that spinning back kick where he steps to the side and then steps back - he just kind of laid in there, took some shots, let him hit him, he was moving his head and then playing with him. And then, the minute he said, 'I'm done', it was done.
"It's just unbelievable - nobody does that. Nobody. Nobody in this sport is able to do that. That's why when I get these guys sometimes who say, 'I don't know, Anderson Silva might not be the best...' Are you out of your f***ing mind? Nobody can do what this guy can f***ing do. He's the greatest of all time.
"I'm a huge Mike Tyson fan, and in Tyson's heyday when he was executing people, and you were just wondering how long it was going to be before he knocked someone out.
"Anderson Silva just does amazing things that nobody else can do... I'm telling you right now: Watch every fight he has, enjoy every moment that he's here because when he's gone you're going to f***ing regret it.
"It's like [Michael] Jordan - even the games he played that didn't mean a lot - he still did a lot of great s**t."